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Sourcing Products From Asia? Here Are the Top 3 Trade Shows to Attend
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When it comes to sourcing new inventory and diversifying your suppliers, many sellers and brands are heading overseas — particularly to Asia — to scout for new products and vendors. Each year, there are many sourcing exhibitions in Asia to take advantage of, so we have put together some information to help you make the most of the experience abroad.
When deciding which trade shows to attend, be sure to consider the products you are interested in sourcing and the greater categories that they live in. Most shows take place in either Hong Kong or Guangzhou, mainland China. Most importers spend one to three weeks in Asia attending trade shows, and one to two days at each show to ensure ample time to meet with potential suppliers.
You can also visit existing suppliers to strengthen relationships and negotiate pricing and Terms of Trade, as well as tour factories of new suppliers you are considering working with. The relationship building aspect of a trip overseas is arguably the most valuable one, as it allows you the opportunity to meet with suppliers face-to-face and foster valuable, long-term partnerships.
Global Sources Summit
This year, the Global Sources Summit is taking place from April 27-29 in Hong Kong. The three-day summit will cover educational sessions led by global e-commerce and sourcing experts, valuable networking sessions, and the chance to meet with thousands of suppliers for potential product sourcing for your Amazon store. In its seventh year, the summit will include over 20 speakers and will touch on topics such as product selection, launching new products, pay-per-click advertising, quality assurance and control, listing optimization, and more.
Global Sources also has spin-off shows that are specific to certain product categories. The consumer and mobile electronics segments are the Global Sources’ flagship shows and feature more than 7,500 exhibitors of new and innovative electronics products from China, South Korea, and other Asian countries.
- April 11-14: Consumer electronics
- April 18-21: Mobile electronics
- April 27-30: Fashion and lifestyle
Held in Guangzhou, Canton Fair is the oldest sourcing fair in China and has been held since 1957. This year, it will be held across several days in April and May. Most suppliers at the show are from mainland China, but there are also a significant number of trading companies and agents. If you are looking to source home products, sports items, toys, gifts, or consumer products, this show will be beneficial for you to attend.
Officially named the China Import and Export Fair, the show is held twice per year (April/May and October) in Guangzhou, which was previously known as Canton. The show typically boasts nearly 25,000 exhibitors and 200,000 overseas buyers from over 210 countries and regions. The Canton Fair is broken up into different waves based on product category. The 2019 dates are outlined below:
- April 15-19: Electronics and home appliances, lighting, automotive appliances, mechanical, hardware and building materials, and more
- April 23-27: Consumer goods, gifts, and home decor
- May 1-5: Textiles and clothing, footwear, office supplies, luggage, health care, food and beverage, and more
Hong Kong Electronics Fair
As Asia’s largest electronics fair, this show features high-tech exhibitors and is optimal if you are looking to source products grounded in cutting-edge technology, automation, and innovation. Taking place from April 13-16, the fair includes nearly 3,000 exhibitors and 60,000 attendees and combines one-on-one buyer/supplier meetings, product demonstrations, networking events, and educational sessions focused on consumer electronics trends.
When sourcing new products overseas, be sure to consider unique product features that will enable competitive differentiation or that fills a gap or a need in the market and consumers will be enticed to buy. With a thorough analysis of the competitive landscape, category potential, and specific SKUs, you will be able to decide on an item — or a handful of items — that make sense to source abroad. These trade shows in Asia are a great starting point for establishing relationships with new vendors and suppliers overseas, vetting their business models and product specifics to see if they align with your sourcing criteria.